The Scar That Hurt
Students were hanging from the windows nearest them. A great number of faces, both on the train and off, seemed to be turned toward Harry.
"Why are they all staring?" demanded Albus as he and Rose craned around to look at the other students.
"Don't let it worry you," said Ron. "It's me, I'm extremely famous."
Albus, Rose, Hugo, and Lily laughed.
The train began to move, and Harry walked alongside it, watching his son's thin face, already ablaze with excitement. Harry kept smiling and waving, even though it was like a little bereavement, watching his son glide away from him.
The last trace of steam evaporated in the autumn air. The train rounded a corner. Harry's hand was still raised in farewell. There was a raven haired boy standing in the last wagon of the train, his face turned towards him with a smile and not the usual awe-inspired face. He looked familiar, but Harry could not place where he had seen him before.
"He'll be alright," murmured Ginny.
As Harry looked at her, he lowered his hand absentmindedly and touched the lightning scar on his forehead.
"I know he will."
The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.
Within the train
Albus huffed as he sat down in the compartment together with his brother. James was sporting a lopside grin as he cherished the attention the students were giving him. As if their father's fame was theirs too.
He rolled his eyes as a cute Gryffindor girl moved closer to James and began to shamelessly flirt with him. He couldn't stand being in the same compartment as his brother, so he walked out and moved towards the further down ones. He left his trunk there however, no need to carry the heavy luggage around.
He sat down in another empty one, but he doesn't stay more than a minute that his brother is already at the door sheepishly grinning at him.
"Oh the poor baby is still afraid of cooties?" He snickers.
"I am not!" Albus replies hotly crossing his arms. "It's just wrong what you do."
"Oh? And what is it?" James asks curious and perplexed, as he stands there in the doorway.
"You're acting like you were the one who defeated You-Know-Who and not father." Albus replied crossing his arms above his chest, "It's not right."
"It's not like I'm stealing his thunder," James said, before suddenly chuckling at the unintended pun. "And the girls would be sad if I didn't give them a fighting chance now, wouldn't they?"
Albus was about to retort, when a voice from behind James' back caught their attention.
"Is there a free seat in the compartment?" The female voice belonged to a first year, Rose. The girl looked with surprise as James turned around and smiled at the cousin. Albus too hesitantly did the same. The girl sighed in relief as she simply tried to shove James aside to sit down.
"Seriously James: don't block the corridors." The girl commented with the tone her mother always used.
"Who, me serious? No I'm Si..."
"If you finish that joke I'll show you the hex my mother taught me: the one she uses with our uncles when they go out of line." Rose remarked angrily. "Mom had me learn it just for these situations."
"Ohhhh I'm scared of little Rosie!" James said with a wide grin, childishly pushing the girl back. Albus rose up and moved towards the corridor while exclaiming.
"Hey! Quit it James! Dad said to stop..."
"Dad's not here, Albus!" James replied rolling his eyes as he held both of Rose's arms still by grabbing her by the wrists. "And now that you're immobilized? What are you going to do uh Rosie?"
The girl huffed trying to free herself, before finally relenting and smiling wickedly. James frowned, then suddenly knelt as a knee hit him where no boy wishes to be hit.
"Ah! That will serve you..."
"Reducto." The door to the wagon of the train suddenly exploded, as shards and splinters flew in the air and landed on the ground. Stepping on them stood a dark haired boy holding a wand in his hand. In his other hand stood a head. A severed head of a girl that Albus had seen flirting with James few minutes before. The boy smiled happily, before pointing his wand forward at them.
"Let's make a game, shall we?" His smile widened as he began to laugh.
In the station
The next moment, a sharp shrieking sound erupted through the entire station. A cold, clicking noise made itself known. A rumble grew in the distance, where the train had rounded the corner. The next moment, the next instant…
The scar hurt once more as a strong detonation was heard just outside of the station itself.
"Harry!" Ginny exclaimed, moving closer to him. Hadn't she heard the explosion? Her eyes were looking at him with worry, and he numbly moved his own hand over the scar. The scar on his forehead was bleeding. It was a head splitting pain, and as he gritted his teeth he could hear the muffled sounds of those near him.
"Mate? Blimey Harry you're…" Ron said, but his words died in his mouth as he took in just from where the Boy-Who-Lived was bleeding from.
"Harry," Hermione took a quick breath, "What's going on? Tell me it isn't true, please."
"It," Harry began hesitantly. "Isn't…" He gritted his teeth. The pain was agonizing by now. His right knee touched the concrete of the station.
"We need to call a Healer! Quick!" Ginny yelled out loud, attracting attention as Ron nodded to his sister, before dashing towards the nearest floo-fire pit.
The pain subsided on its own, as he wobbly stood back up gasping for air. Blood was dripping down his scar, onto the frame of his glasses and below, dribbling on his clothes.
"Potter." The voice of Draco was sharp, yet there was a slight worry in the tone that he could not miss. Draco Malfoy had probably heard Ginny's screams, and when he had seen just like the rest of the station his scar bleed, he had moved closer to get an explanation.
It was an explanation that Harry could not provide, the scar was hurting. Only with Riddle it could hurt, but he had removed the Horcrux from his body. He had come back from the dead. He had destroyed Voldemort. He had killed him time and time…
The Horcrux. They had thought them seven.
What if, instead, they had been more? What if there had been just one more? Was it possible?
Which one thing could they have overlooked? The Gryffindor sword? The…
In the train
The boy moved the wand to the compartment at his right, the first of the wagon where a third year had opened the door to look out and was surprised to be a stand-point.
"Let's make a game." The boy intoned smiling, "Survive."
"Eh?" The third year student queried perplexed.
"Reducto." The third year student detonated into bits of blood and gore, as James, Albus and Rose looked with fright and scare at the mad boy.
"One little lamb just died here. Two more lambs I see in here..." The boy sang as faster than ever two more spells shot forth from his wand. The explosions and the screams began to ring through the wagon.
"Well? Why are you still here?" The boy asked with a frown at the three paralyzed kids. "It's not fun if you don't run."
Rose was the first to return to her senses, and she did so by screaming and running away from the compartment.
"Albus...go." James whispered taking out his wand.
"James!? Are you mad? Have you seen..."
"Oh! A challenger approaches!" The boy mocked.
"Reach the train head, make the train turn around." James murmured. "Please Albus. Go."
"If you stay and duel me I'll let your baby brother," the mad boy snorted, "Go out of this wagon without a wound. Or I'll just kill him when he gives me his back if you don't."
"See?" James whispered. "Please Albus: go! I'm in the dueling club. I'm better suited for this than you."
"Tick tock, waisting my time isn't good." The boy sang.
"James!" Albus cried, grabbing a hold of his brother's sleeve.
"Go! Don't try and steal my thunder now, Albus." James replied kindly, before shoving him away from him. "Move!" He yelled at him, and Albus couldn't help but cry and nod as he turned and ran out of there.
The people who had brought their heads out to look at what was happening couldn't see beyond James Potter standing in front of a raven haired boy nobody had seen before.
"Now we duel boy!" The raven haired cheerfully said. "First we bow!"
James shivered in fright as he did so.
"So tasteful! Finally! Your father was an horrible duelist! He didn't respect form!"
James gritted his teeth as he took the stance.
"One," he intoned.
"Two," The other boy said with a clearly wicked smile on his face.
"Three!" They both yelled.
"Crucio!" James fell on the ground screaming as the boy merely laughed.
"Ah this brings back memories!" The boy exclaimed, "A cemetery...the screams of your father..." He moved closer, "And yet," the voice grew colder and angrier, "He escaped!" He was now atop him, and as the Crucio relented, the boy whispered.
"I will not make the same mistake again...Sectum..."
"Flipendo!" Albus yelled, as the small tasteless spell impacted against a hastily brought up shield from the raven haired boy.
"Oh? Horrible, horrible taste!" The boy yelled, "Just like your father! Horrendous really." A flick of the wand and Albus found himself floating in the air.
"Let him go!" James yelled through coughs and wracks of pain. "We had a deal!"
"Oh? Of course. You're right. Sorry." Another flick, and Albus screamed as he was flung across the wagon to smash on the door, and pummeled through it as his body landed in the next one.
"There. He's in the other wagon now! Want to join him?"
"You monster!" James yelled, before his body was lifted by magic and flung in the same way as Albus' own was.
Yet he landed hardly but still breathing, since it was with the broken bones of Albus that the doors had been smashed open. The boy flew forward, landing in the wagon together with James as the boy got back up as fast as he could, looking for his brother.
He saw the corpse of his brother laying motionless, in a broken heap against the floor.
"Oh how cold does my heart feel now!" The boy mocked, his wand pointed backwards..."I need to warm it!" The students in the previous wagon didn't stand a chance, when Fiendfyre rained upon their carriages.
In the station
"The Hogwarts' train is on fire!" A sharp voice shrieked in fear in the station still packed with parents. The words ensued chaos was only barely muffled to his ears by the abrupt motion of his shoulders by Draco. His old enemy turned barely sufferable individual was pulling and pushing him, trying probably to get something out of him.
He was in shock. He couldn't even hear anything anymore. Lily was close and her face was looking at him with a mixture of fear and fright as what looked like a Healer was moving closer.
"Tell me it isn't him! Tell me it's not him!" Draco was roaring at him, but he couldn't hear much more. He was numb, and yet a smell reached his nostrils, just like it reached the rest of the station.
The Hogwarts train returned into the station like a wounded soldier. It looked like a butchered pig. Its wagons were all tore apart from the inside, the hissing and creaking noises of the twisted metallic frame sounded like the dying breaths of the contraption. There were screams, pointed fingers, pale face and fainting.
There was yelling, aurors apparating, curtailing the area, the spot…
And yet he could not move. Draco stopped manhandling him and walked briskly towards the carcass of the train, his hands on his hair. Astoria Greengrass stood next to him, pale and white like a sheet.
The Healer had to physically move him, because he couldn't even muster the will to take a single step forward.
Everything he had done till that moment was meaningless. Everything he had faced, battled for, prepared for and executed for was null and void.
Voldemort was back.
The Dark Lord was back. Had he been careless? Had he ignored one Horcrux? Had there been one more? Just one more that he had not seen?
"Harry," Ginny said with tears in her eyes, "Harry can you hear me? Please answer me!"
"Ma'am, I have to apparate him to St. Mungos, please move aside!" the Healer exclaimed.
He shook the healer off him, he remembered little after having forced the Healers out of the way to get back in the station. He had probably fought right there and then to get back in the station. Him, head auror and boy-who-lived had been unable to save anyone.
In the train
"James get over here!" Teddy yelled as he arrived wand in hand together with Victoire. "Whoever you are surrender your wand!" He added to the boy who merely smirked.
"Me? Surrender my wand?" He chuckled. "This isn't my wand to begin with. My wand, my rightful wand, was broken you know?" He annoyingly flung James through the air, but Victoire caught him with her own wand and levitated him quickly to her side.
"Are you all right?" She asked him, as he began to mumble and cry about Albus.
"What's your name?" Teddy asked with his eyes narrowed.
"Me? I am Tom. A pleasure to meet you." The boy flashed a nice grin, before his wand just so casually touched the metallic side of the wall. "And guess what? I'm good at transfiguration."
"What does..." Teddy screamed as the metallic floor became spikes that pierced through his feet, just as more spikes erupted from the sides and passed through the boy's entire body leaving him a bleeding pincushion.
"How rude." The boy mocked. "He didn't say his name! Nevermind! Reducto!" The pincushion exploded in blood and metal scraps, as Victoire covered James and her back was wounded as a result.
"Run!" She yelled at the boy, who in fear and shock nodded trembling and dashed for the next wagon.
"Oh my, you're a half-breed. I smell it. You disgust me! Let me cleanse you!" The boy laughed, and that was the last thing James heard before he shut the wagon's door behind him with haste.
He looked ahead of him, to see the curious faces of the students that had left their compartments and were now looking at him.
"Is something the trouble?" A sixth year asked. "Where are Teddy and Victoire?" Another student queried.
"They're..." He swallowed nervously. Someone knocked at the door behind him.
He tensed and stilled. He moved slowly away from the door as the knocks became harder.
"Come on boys! Candies and chocolate frogs! Don't you want a chocolate frog? They're all crunchy and tasty!"
James paled and began to ran, the other students looking at him with perplexity, but he knew he had been doing the right thing. The next moment the door blew off its hinges.
"Ready or not here comes the candy!" The explosions felt like some sort of pillow had been pressed over them, but he knew it wasn't a pillow. It was the mass of flesh and blood that once were students just like him. The screams turned into a panicked try at getting out of the wagon, but he was already moving forward to the next one and the one after that.
When he finally reached the wagon of the driver, he harshly knocked on the door that was locked.
"Please! Turn the train around! Please!" He yelled.
The door clicked open...but no-one was actually on the train. There was a lever however. A 'For Emergency Return' only. He didn't have the time to wonder why there was not a driver on the train. He just dashed forward and pulled it. The train lurched to a stop, as he fell on the ground and the door closed behind him. He gasped and brought both hands to his face as he cried in relief. The train was slowly going backwards. Back to the station, back to his father. He had done it: he had saved the students of Hogwarts...but where was Rose? She had dashed ahead hadn't she?
What if...she had ended up on another wagon?
"James! Open up please!" Rose's voice reached him just in that moment, coming from outside the metallic door of the driver's wagon. He laughed to shake off his fright as he moved to open it.
"Rose...Albus is..." and then the last thing he saw was the raven haired boy's face morph into a nice, wicked smile.
Didn't Hero win in the end?
Apparently they didn't.
The gutted train, the noise of the metal wheels on the rails still haunted him. He had hoped for peace. He had hoped for a happy ending, one like those in the stories.
He should have known better.
The first corpse to come out was of Rose. He heard Hermione scream and cry over the dead body of her daughter, while Ron closed his eyes and held her by the shoulders. Soon more bodies came. They had not been killed with the Avada Kedavra. They had all been dismembered one after the other. Then it's Albus turn to come out. His entire body is mangled, as if he had gone inside a blender.
Ginny was held back by a few Aurors. Kingsley had arrived on the scene, but he couldn't speak to him right there and then. He had to watch. The next to appear in line is Teddy, with Victoire. Bill and Fleur aren't at the station: they'll have to be warned. He actually thinks about how to warn them, rather than what is going on.
He doesn't want to believe it's true. James body comes out afterwards. He's actually holding within his arms a first year. Probably trying to do the brave thing and protect him. That's his boy after all. He's dead all the same, impaled by a steel tube that probably came from the train's pipes.
He feels someone holding on to his leg and he looks down. Lily is looking at him pale and scared, tears streaking down her face. He doesn't know what to tell her. He can still hear the screams and the cries. He doesn't dare to disapparate with her. He might splinch her. He can't lose her too.
Draco's son is a heap of muscles and blood. He has been crushed by the collapse of a section of the train. Draco's crying over the body while his wife has fainted. He envies Draco in that moment: the man can cry. He can't. He's Harry Potter, the boy who lived. He should have defeated Voldemort…but he hadn't.
Hugo is actually standing still near him too. He's the only one not moving, just staring at the scene with dead eyes. The healer returns to him and tries to get him to move…but he can't.
He just can't leave.
His scar is hurting, but now the pain seems dull, so dull…compared to that of his heart.
Oneshot I had in mind. Basically the plot twist is that, after the end of the books, somehow Voldemort still had one more Horcrux (Accidental or planned) and then acts on the day that is the epilogue of the book by attacking the Hogwarts' train. Harry breaks and from there onwards it's a fight to battle the completely insane (Joker-like insane to say) Last strand of soul of Voldemort who simply plays by rules completely alien to the war fought before (Attacks in public daylight, destroying the statute of secrecy, burning down kindergartens and things like that) Not very long but it's all there is. Glad to have gotten this plot bunny out of my head though.